UNH's next president says diversity and inclusion are central to public higher educationBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent
April 09. 2018 9:41PM
DURHAM — The University of New Hampshire’s next president answered questions about diversity, inclusion, transparency, sustainability and the importance of higher education during a meet and greet session Monday afternoon.
James W. Dean Jr. was selected as the school’s 20th president last week. He will take the reins when President Mark Huddleston retires this spring.
Dean said diversity and inclusion for students and faculty members are instrumental to the success of public university systems.
“I don’t see diversity and inclusion as a separate issue. I see it as absolutely central to the mission of the University of New Hampshire,” Dean said.
Dean said he hopes to meet with students informally to learn more about what is important to them.
When asked about overcoming skepticism when it comes to the value of higher education, Dean said everyone in the UNH community needs to be sharing their success stories throughout the state.
“I’ve never seen any legislators immune to the charms of students,” Dean said.
Dean also asked those in attendance to communicate with him as he takes on his new job, which he said he is honored to have been chosen for.
About 100 UNH staff, students and community members turned out for the event at Huddleston Hall. Dean served as executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill from 2013-17. He is a professor of organizational behavior at the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Dean said before he starts at UNH, he plans on finishing a book about how the business community and universities can benefit from collaboration.
Dean will be at UNH’s School of Law in Concord and UNH Manchester today for similar meet and greet sessions.